Great Plains Daily Devotional for 12/23/2018

Today please be in prayer for

Topeka: Crestview UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: First UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: Kansas Avenue UMC
Topeka: Oakland UMC
Topeka District
Topeka: Highland Park UMC
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 1:46-55 

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

Today's Devotional

I remember the day I learned that Mary was not meek and mild. It was the day I encountered this text as an adult and really read the words of Luke’s gospel for the first time. I was shocked!

Mary seems to actually have a choice in response to the angel’s announcement. She consents. “Let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). She has choice and agency and agrees to this plan that sets her on a difficult journey. She willingly takes a path of suspicious unwed motherhood, of giving birth on the road in less-than-ideal conditions, of being the mother of a child who would redeem the world … and whose death would break her heart. Why would she agree to such a thing?

Her song to Elizabeth tells us why. Mary is not a meek and mild mother-figure. She is a revolutionary for the people of God. When she learns of her role in ushering salvation into the world, she names God’s scattering the proud, knocking monarchs from their thrones, lifting the poor, and making good on God’s promises to the oppressed people of Israel. Mary is a troublemaker, a world-changer, and when she learns that God is working through her, she is not afraid. She is brave, and she is bold.

This Christmas, I am remembering that Mary was not meek and mild, and her child Jesus did not stay a baby. Instead, she birthed into this world the One who would grow and teach and live and die and rise so that God’s kingdom of love and justice would be revealed and fulfilled. Thanks be to God.
--Rev. Chris Jorgensen
Omaha Hanscom Park UMC

 

Prayer for Reflection

O Come, Emmanuel and give us courage to receive your presence, declare your justice, and be vessels of your redeeming love into the world. May it be so. Amen.
 

 

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